Anyone have experience with micro 4/3rds format cameras?

edkwon

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managed to get my recent lens accquisitions together for a recent product shoot, new additions to the OM-D collection:

Olympus 17mm f 1.8 - took this on a recent weekend trip to burning Man, this is a fantastic street photography lens



Olympus 75mm f1.8 - nice telephoto I used on a recent portrait shoot + optional lens hood



Olympus 45mm f1.8 black + lens hood



And the 15mm body cap lens just for laughs since it's dirt cheap, haven't got to try it out yet.

 

marcos_eirik

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I also have a new addition. I needed some extra reach with AF, so I went for the mZD 75-300II. used it a bit today in SF, but I haven't had the time to look at the pictures yet. Very nice to have some more reach. The small f4.8-6.7 aperture doesn't bother me, as it's mostly a daylight lens used at f7.1 anyways. I also ordered one of those Joby mini tripods... :)

Very excited about the E-M1 though, looking forward to more in-depth reviews. As of now, the verdict is C-AF is significantly improved, and according to Pekka Potka and Ming Thein it focuses the old Olympus FT dSLR lenses faster than the E-5. Also, Steve Huff was also very impressed. Here's what it looks like:

Front:


Back:


Top:


With grip and 12-40/2.8:


The screen flips out like it does on the E-M5:


Attached to an old 150/2:


Frozen:


They also annouced that they are making a 40-150mm f2.8 telephoto to complement the 12-40/2.8:
 

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I'm curious how much faster it is at focusing the 14-54 II in PDAF vs. the E-M5 in CDAF. It's the only 4/3 lens I have, and probably the only one I'll ever get. Right now it's fast enough but nothing like any of the MSC m43 lenses.
 

marcos_eirik

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I'm curious how much faster it is at focusing the 14-54 II in PDAF vs. the E-M5 in CDAF. It's the only 4/3 lens I have, and probably the only one I'll ever get. Right now it's fast enough but nothing like any of the MSC m43 lenses.
The general tone seems to be that the E-M1 is as fast with FT-lenses as the E-5 (their last pro-DSLR), which means fast enough for most of us.. On a different note, the new 12-40/2.8 is apparently made of awesome...


The upcoming 40-150/2.8 isn't as big as you'd might think, unless the guy holding it is a giant, I'd say that's respectable for an 80-300mm equivalent field of view with a constant f2.8 aperture. Depending on the optical performance and price of this, I think they may have just killed the coming Panasonic 150/2.8, unless that comes in at much less $1000.


 

Labcoatguy

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I hope the market responds to these new releases, because m4/3 really deserves it. Also because I'm getting off the GAS train and holding onto my E-M5 and my current lens selection. Wouldn't say no to a Ricoh GR though.
 

otispunkmeyer

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Really liking the new OMD-E1 and its seriously making me re-consider the trip down SONY lane I have taken. At the time it was NEX-6 or the OMD-E5 and on balance, I thought the NEX-6 had it. The lenses for the NEX range are getting nicely fleshed out, although there seems to be a fair bit of overlap and only a small choice of really good (optically) lenses. The best results I have had so far have been with using an A-mount CZ 24-70 F2.8 via the LA-EA2 lens adapter. Basically turns the NEX into a A77 SLR! And that CZ lens has been the sharpest thing I have ever used. Absolutely razor sharp.

There is also a staggering selection of 3rd party lens adapters. You can just about mount any lens you wish, though on most you are completely at the mercy of manual controls with only focus peaking to help you.

The olympus lenses seem to constantly get good write ups and theres a huge selection of m4/3 and 4/3 lenses and now theres an excellent camera (especially in terms of size and button layout) to go with them. Its looking very rosy! Also on balance, Olympus would seem to have the least worst UI when compared to SONY. SONY's UI on the NEX-6 is woeful to say the least.
 

edkwon

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Really liking the new OMD-E1 and its seriously making me re-consider the trip down SONY lane I have taken. At the time it was NEX-6 or the OMD-E5 and on balance, I thought the NEX-6 had it. The lenses for the NEX range are getting nicely fleshed out, although there seems to be a fair bit of overlap and only a small choice of really good (optically) lenses. The best results I have had so far have been with using an A-mount CZ 24-70 F2.8 via the LA-EA2 lens adapter. Basically turns the NEX into a A77 SLR! And that CZ lens has been the sharpest thing I have ever used. Absolutely razor sharp.

There is also a staggering selection of 3rd party lens adapters. You can just about mount any lens you wish, though on most you are completely at the mercy of manual controls with only focus peaking to help you.

The olympus lenses seem to constantly get good write ups and theres a huge selection of m4/3 and 4/3 lenses and now theres an excellent camera (especially in terms of size and button layout) to go with them. Its looking very rosy! Also on balance, Olympus would seem to have the least worst UI when compared to SONY. SONY's UI on the NEX-6 is woeful to say the least.
Third party adapters aside the staggering array of first party made-to-fit digital Panasonic & Olympus MFT lenses ia probably the systems greatest strength, backed up by almost equally capable camera hardware. Yes the loss of shallow DOF with the smaller sensor is still a compromise that I have to live with when shooting with the OM-D bjt otherwise my day to day shooting experience is enhanced in most other ways.

My Nikon D600 has been relegated to specialty photography only : fast action, portraits, max detail landscapes and night/astrophotography. But for everyday, street and travel shooting, my MFT camera is such a powerful tool.
 

otispunkmeyer

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Yeah I have been looking to day at what is available and between Panasonic and Olympus there is a staggering choice. Sony's NEX choices are getting fleshed out a little now, but I think there is a bit too much overlap at the moment and there is no real choice at all if you want a fast telephoto zoom. Your best bet is the 18-200mm F4-6.3 which is pretty rubbish IMO.

I also do now see the point of m4/3. At first I was like, smaller sensor = smaller cameras and kit, yet many of the good m4/3 cameras are pretty large. You can get larger APS-C sensors in smallers bodies so I didn't quite see why you would give up the advantages of larger sensors (better dynamic range, possibly better color rendition, DoF opportunities, light gathering and ISO noise performance) to have a m4/3 when it didn't net you anything in terms of physical size.

But IQ is also about the lenses. I have seen first hand what a good lens can do. The CZ 24-70 produced shots I never thought possible, but it is a FF high end SLR lens. Nothing that has been made for the E-mount comes close. The problem, I believe, is that in order to make a sharp, bright lens, zooms in particular, for the E-mount and its APS-C sensor is that there is no choice but to make a physically large lens that looks a bit daft compared to the camera. The NEX-6 looked like a postage stamp stuck to the back of that 24-70!. Afterall it is the lenses that often make up the bulk of the weight of your kit and there is no point in going for a tiny NEX camera which will save only a few grams when having to keep physically large and heavy lenses.

This is why there are very few wide aperture lenses for the NEX. Even the new Touit primes which are fast, are rather large looking. The new 16-70 is only an F/4 with OIS to compensate somewhat and I suspect this is because if they made it F/2.8 it'd be massive and its due to the physical constraints of having that 3:2 large sensor.

The smaller and more square m4/3 sensor I believe lends itself much better to designing and packaging fast, bright lenses to be small but at the same time being able to maintain excellent optical quality. It seems there a few more trade offs to make when doing APS-C lenses for mirrorless cameras. As above, that 40-150mm F2.8 doesn't look overly large at all for what it is. A similar APS-C lens like the 70-200 F2.8s look bigger and are probably much heavier.
 
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edkwon

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You make an excellent point about the larger APS-C sensor dictating the size of fast, HQ lenses for their mirrorless cameras, partly defeating the purpose of stuff an APS-C sensor into a more compact body. Especially if that imbalances the shooting feel by stick a relatively oversized lens on a relatively smaller, possibly more awkward to hold body. At that body, it becomes easier just to use a normal sized dSLR body to balance the weight.
 

otispunkmeyer

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There is definitely a limit. As I said the CZ 24-70 F2.8 completely dwarfed my camera. Thankfully, the LA-EA2 lens adapter needed has its own tripod mount, so I was able to attach my joby sling there and maintain a bit more balance. When shooting I pretty much just held the lens! Grip on the camera was ok, but the main weight was born by the hand on the lens. Its just as well because the lens mounts definitely did not feel all that secure! Some unnerving flex going on in there and I had visions of the lens just dropping off the front! hence holding the lens and not the camera! I also had the big SONY flash gun in the hot shoe. It just looked ridiculous, like I was walking around with just a lens. Don't get me wrong though, I do like the dual role the LA-EA2 enables the NEX 6 to play. You can have a full on DSLR in everything but body when you use it and then you can return to something almost pocketable when you're done. Its just a shame you can't bring the stunning image quality the FF lenses give.


Another thing is, I keep telling myself I don't need weather sealing and yet, the last events I photographed were:

A wedding, where I ended up jumping between river boats on the river avon!

Football matches at my university (without an umbrella)


and coming up next... Photo work for the RLSS where I'll be on the beach, in the sea and riding in RIBs! Then a big trip to San Fran/Yosemite/Death Valley/Vegas.

weather sealing probably wouldn't be too bad an option to have!
 

marcos_eirik

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Another thing is, I keep telling myself I don't need weather sealing and yet, the last events I photographed were:

A wedding, where I ended up jumping between river boats on the river avon!

Football matches at my university (without an umbrella)


and coming up next... Photo work for the RLSS where I'll be on the beach, in the sea and riding in RIBs! Then a big trip to San Fran/Yosemite/Death Valley/Vegas.

weather sealing probably wouldn't be too bad an option to have!
My impression is that the image quality advantage APS-C cameras had over mFT is now negligible; ISO-performance and DR is almost the same, the differences in DoF at corresponding field of view and apertures are also minimal. Also, my impression from reading early tests of the E-M1 is that you have to get up to some serious DSLR stuff (D7000, 70D, 7D etc) to get better C-AF performance the the E-M1. S-AF is as (with "MSC" branded mFT lenses) good as any DSLR already with the E-M5.

The weather sealing is indeed a nice "comfort" to have. It's great not to have to worry about that when you're outside. It's also very convenient if you have an accident, someone managed to spill a full pint of beer on my E-M5 when I photographed a student party for our faculty's magazine, I just went into the restroom and washed it off under the faucet, no problems at all.
 

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My impression is that the image quality advantage APS-C cameras had over mFT is now negligible; ISO-performance and DR is almost the same, the differences in DoF at corresponding field of view and apertures are also minimal. Also, my impression from reading early tests of the E-M1 is that you have to get up to some serious DSLR stuff (D7000, 70D, 7D etc) to get better C-AF performance the the E-M1. S-AF is as (with "MSC" branded mFT lenses) good as any DSLR already with the E-M5.

The weather sealing is indeed a nice "comfort" to have. It's great not to have to worry about that when you're outside. It's also very convenient if you have an accident, someone managed to spill a full pint of beer on my E-M5 when I photographed a student party for our faculty's magazine, I just went into the restroom and washed it off under the faucet, no problems at all.
Same here, I had can of soda explode and spill all over my OM-D and I just wiped with down with a wet paper towel, all the top buttons worked well.
 

marcos_eirik

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I tried the E-M1 at a "touch & try" event at a photo-store in Oslo a couple of weeks ago. Basically all aspects are improved over the E-M5, if you use the E-M5 with the horisontal grip portion, the E-M1 is actually slightly smaller, but feels much more solid. The buttons are also bigger and much easier to use. The biggest difference was the VF, that new VF is epic, no other words for it than that... AF was very good, S-AF is faster than the E-M5 (which is silly fast already, with MSC-branded lenses), C-AF is now very good, even with the old FT-lenses, tried it with the 12-60, 14-54, and 150/2.

So, I guess my wallet will take a hit soon... :eek:
 

edkwon

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I tried the E-M1 at a "touch & try" event at a photo-store in Oslo a couple of weeks ago. Basically all aspects are improved over the E-M5, if you use the E-M5 with the horisontal grip portion, the E-M1 is actually slightly smaller, but feels much more solid. The buttons are also bigger and much easier to use. The biggest difference was the VF, that new VF is epic, no other words for it than that... AF was very good, S-AF is faster than the E-M5 (which is silly fast already, with MSC-branded lenses), C-AF is now very good, even with the old FT-lenses, tried it with the 12-60, 14-54, and 150/2.

So, I guess my wallet will take a hit soon... :eek:
Very nice, I know exactly what is replacing my EM-5 if something unfortunate happens to it.
 

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It all started as a normal day... Then I got an itch to buy a Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye lens.

But at the end I accidentally a Pany 7-14mm ^^'



It's quite a bit smaller than I thought it would be.
I still need to learn how to compose properly with it, but I really like the first shots I got:




 

marcos_eirik

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A couple of weeks ago I had an accident with my E-M5, the back side hit the edge of a table, and the screen broke. Sent it in for repair about a week ago, screen needs to be replaced, don't know what it will cost. I have a hope it won't be too expensive... Anyways, this is what the end result looked like:



So I was in a very vulnerable position when I got a text from FotoVideo this morning... They had E-M1 in stock, so... I kind of had to, didn't mean to, but did it anyways:



:mouse:
 

marcos_eirik

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Hooooly hot damn. And is that a 14-54 I I see there?
Yes it's the old 14-54 that was launched with the E-1 ten years ago... Bought it on a clearance sale back in 2008 for $250... :) I also have the 12-60 and the old 50-200, the latter is on loan to a friend of mine.
 

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Really eyeing up the new Panasonic GX-7. As good as the new Oly E-M1 is, I just prefer that soap bar form of the NEX, PEN and this new Panasonic. Especially in the silver body.

Been reading loads of reviews and lots of APS-C vs m4/3 comparisons and my conclusion is there is basically no difference. My NEX6 is borderline unusable at ISO 6400. The noise present in the GX-7 raw files is absolutely no worse and in fact in the jpgs manage to look a little nicer, likely due to less aggressive sharpening. I believe m4/3 use weaker AA filters so don't need to crank sharpening afterwards. DoF is still a concern, but when comparing using lens equivalence (get ting the same FoV etc) I think my concerns probably don't amount to much.

The Panasonic would seem to address problems I have with my SONY. 1) the SONY menu system is horrendous. 2) the camera is quite slow to turn on and things like the apps and wifi are very slow to load. The whole thing just doesn't seem that fluid. 3) I wishing it had more buttons and more slots In the quick menu. Changing things like AF/MF, metering, focus point etc is a bit of a fiddle requiring multiple button prods even from the quick menu!!!.

There are other things too. The larger sensor means top glass is large and heavy. Or it would be, if they had any and I believe they don't for precisely that reason. A nice walk around zoom with f2.8 would be far too big for the camera. So they give you smaller lenses with less elements and smaller apertures and give you OSS as a band aid. It's too quick to jump the auto ISO to 3200 and even with a 12mm lens on the front it refused to go lower than 1/60 the shutter speed without intervention. Sorry sony I can quite happily hand hold that at 1/15 so I can use a lower ISO. In short i wish you could chose min and max shutter and or ISO for Av and Tv modes. What else.... Oh yeah the sony sensors seem to like red. Reds generally comes out way over baked, especially in dimmer scenes that required a warm WB, and it can be hard to sort this in post later. From what I have seen the GX7s RAWs look much more neutral. A better starting point.

Lens selection appears miles better on the four thirds system,though apparently e mount will be getting some 15 new lenses by 2015. Then there are the new full frame mirror less cameras. These will have a new lens mount, but will be able to take existing e mounts. It looks promising, but at the same time like a can of worms.

Oh yeah and AF. When I bought the nex my opinion on AF was that contrast detection was slow and sucky and for point and shoot compacts. Phase detection was where its at and the NEX6 had the goods. 2 problems, 1) it only works with select lenses and 2) I've had rather a lot of ruined shots where it's just decided not to focus on what I wanted. And it really doesn't work at tracking, or when using the high speed drive modes. Then I tried a GX7 and was amazed at how fast and accurate this contrast only system is. I couldn't believe it. I bet I looked like an idiot stood in heathrow airport duty free focusing on different items. It was locking on like a leech in the blink of an eye.

Then I did research and discovered that contrast detection is far better in the accuracy stakes than phase detection. I guess Olympus and Panasonic are going down the right path trying to make the contrast detection process incredibly fast, rather than going for the hybrid method.

Think I a going to put my NEX gear on eBay soon.
 

marcos_eirik

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I just got my E-M5 back from the menders with a new screen, yay... Now the 12-50 is more or less glued to it, very versatile walk-around setup... :)

Also, Firmware 1.1 is out for the E-M1, it improves AF somewhat. In my experience it hunts much less now when using PDAF lenses such as my FT-zooms. It performs much better with the 12-60 and 14-54 now, can also use all the focusing dots without having it hunt round before finding focus...
 
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